Monday 13 October 2014

Today's Review: Edge Of Tomorrow

Edge Of Tomorrow is a movie that I pretty much skimmed straight over upon hearing about it. It seemed like another clunky sci-fi flick that wasn't really worth my time. But I always like to give things a go, and seeing as it came out to buy today, I figured I'd give it a chance.

Aliens have attacked Earth, arriving on a meteor and quickly laying waste to armed forces across Europe. Humanity has been mostly unsuccessful in stopping them, before a small victory spearheaded by Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). Now with renewed hope at stopping the threat, the United Defence Force prepare to attack the shored of France, D-Day style, to eliminate the threat for good. Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), a public affairs spokesperson during the war, is forced onto the front lines, and with little experience in battle he is quickly killed by one of the aliens. However, he awakes the previous morning, and lives the events leading up to the battle, dying and repeating again and again. Only a meeting with Rita Vrataski serves to enlighten him as to why he is living the same day over and over, and how he may be the key to ending the invasion once and for all.

Well, it's a pretty nice premise. The best way I can describe this movie is like the love child of a ménage à trois between Groundhog Day, Independence Day and Saving Private Ryan. The constant looping of events certainly drags at the start, acclimatising the audience to what in the hell is going on. The movies is based on a Japanese novel, so it does take a fair bit of explaining to get the somewhat convoluted plot across. But once everything is settled, the repeating cycle premise is actually used to full effect, allowing for many twists, turns and diversions. It's often hard to tell whether Cage is in his first or hundredth encounter with a certain problem, and plans change wildly as the plot develops, taking us to fresh locations that aren't corpse riddled beaches. 

The beach is where the bulk of the action takes place, of course, and it looks spectacular, especially in 3D. Sand, bullets and shrapnel fly right out of the screen, and the aliens and humans alike engage in top notch fighting scenes that almost rival Spielberg's classic opener. Cruise and Blunt are great leads, I rarely got bored of seeing their faces going through the same scenes again and again. There is a certain amount of down time where they try and get to know each other better, and this is where the film does drag a little bit, but the action soon picks up again, normally with a fresh twist, so I can't fault it too much. Despite the great execution of the concept, however, I found that the final stages of the movie didn't live up to the potential, devolving into more of a generic sci-fi offering with a certain amount of holes.

But hey, it's not always about the destination, and I certainly enjoyed the ride. There definitely is an end to it all, but it just doesn't live up to the calibre of the rest of the movie. So while it may not be perfect, Edge Of Tomorrow is a fresh, action-filled blockbuster that is well worth a watch.

My rating: 4/5

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